Taiji & Qigong Long Retreat Thailand
8 march – 5 april 2024
One month Taiji Tao Residency
Join us on a small island in the Andaman Sea, for a month of deep dive in the arts of Taiji, Qigong, Nei Gong, Tao Gong, Two-person practice… All accompanied by sitting meditation sessions throughout the retreat, to reconnect to our quiet source of being as a foundation of our practice.
First 3 weeks will be of full retreat, and the last week will be more holiday-like, in a different location on the island.
Sessions led by Sarah Tulivu (Fong Yi).
ABOUT THIS SYSTEM OF TAIJI (TAICHI) 太極
The “Taichi Tao” approach comes from the mountain monks and is often nicknamed “Temple Style Taichi”. And was brought to the West by Master Waysun Liao.
The Taichi Tao path is a path of going back to the origin, of investigation into the Self, and reconnection to one’s deeper nature. Read More here.
ABOUT SARAH TULIVU
where & when
8th to 29th March:
(29 to 5 April will be improvised)
Day starts in Silence, till 11:00
6:30 – 7:30 Sitting
7:30-8:30 Fruit and tea
8:30 – 10:30 Practice
12:30-14:30 self-practice, study/sharing circle
Afternoons free for swimming, walks to Temple, swimming, jungle adventures, swimming
17:30 – 19:00 Sunset practice
19:00 – 20:00 dinner
(Schedule will likely be adjusted when we are there)
The Island is called Koh Chang, Ranong. (NOTE: there are two Koh Changs in Thailand, we are going to the small Koh Chang, in the Andaman Sea)
It’s a special quiet corner of the world, with beautiful beaches of black and white sand, no cars, no supermarkets, and places turn on their generators only for about 3 hours in the evening, so you can charge your electronics then. There is WiFi in some of the restaurants, but it’s very slow. So make sure to let people know in advance that you’re going on a digital detox! 🙂
ARRIVAL DAY: 8 March (Though if you can, I’d advise coming some days sooner to get over jetlag, if coming from afar. Calculate also that you might need to pass a night in Bangkok)
The first 21 days will be of more intensive training, and the last week will be with less practice and more relaxing together in a different location on the island, for a smoother out-of-retreat transition.
DEPARTURE DAY: 5th April
Prices below are for the organization team, the training, and the rent of the practice space and main house. They don’t include food or accommodation, you find those prices below.
We tried to keep the prices as low as we could.
A pay-as-you-can-afford system allows people with economical difficulties to afford the retreat, but keep in mind that this system wouldn’t be possible if everyone would pay the budget price. So if you can contribute more, you help this system continue to exist.
(Late bird will be after Nov 1)
If you cancel before January 1st, 2024 we will offer a full refund, minus the 100euro deposit.
For cancellations from January 1st until the retreat, we can offer you a full refund (minus the 100euro deposit) only as long as we or you find someone to take your spot.
To secure your place send in the form below, and Ronan will get back to you with his bank details for the deposit. Deposit is €100.
Please pay the full contribution by November 1st.
(In case you already have his details from previous retreats, please wait to send the money and to book flights till you hear back from him, as we have bookings already flying in and spots are limited.)
Deposits are non-refundable.
If you are from Thailand (or if you have real financial limitations) talk to us about options, or a more flexible payment plan.
We will eat in the restaurants near by. Food&water prediction: about €10 per day. (Between €7 to €15 per day – €20 if you’re indulging)
Here are the bungalows on-site. There are also other places nearby.
- Double bed bungalow: 500B per night (approx €15) = €105 per week / €315 for 3 weeks
- 2 bed bungalow: 500B per night (approx €15 ÷ 2 =€7.50 per person) = €52.50 per week / €157.50 for 3 weeks)
- Big room in main house: 500B per night (approx €15) = €105 per week / €315 for 3 weeks.
- Small room in main house: 400B per night (approx €12) = €84 per week / €252 for 3 weeks
- Tent or hammock = 100B per night (approx €3) = €21 per week / €63 for 3 weeks (we’re keeping these for those with financial limitations)
- The neighbours also have some bungalows for similar prices
We will have times for talking in a circle together, where who feels can share about their process and experience, we found these very helpful in past retreats, bringing us all closer.
TO BOOK fill in the form below this section and a link for the deposit will be sent out to you, as long as there are still spots. (More FAQ will be added in August.)
Can I participate for less days?
Since spots are so limited we decided to give priority to people staying the whole lot. It’s unlikely there will be extra spots for people staying less time, as the retreat is getting booked fast.
What shall I bring?
• Towel for shower and a towel/shawl for swimming
• Sandals + covered shoes for possible excursions/hike
• The afternoon is very hot, but the early morning and night it gets fresher, being an island, so bring a jumper and long sleeve.
• The island only has a couple of very small shops with the basics like soaps, toothpaste, shampoo, and bits and pieces, so make sure to bring what you need in advance (for example, if you need natural pads&tampons, there are only the conventional chemical ones there). If there is something important that people forgot or really need, you can pay someone to bring something from mainland, so there is that possibility, but best to bring in advance!
• Electricity on the island is limited to generators, which is generally enough, but if you want some extra backup you can bring a powerbank
• Special foods, special medications, if you need
• Cash as described on the website
• Notebook and pen/s
Any other questions?
Koh Chang, Ranong (The small Koh Chang), Thailand
UPDATE: RETREAT IS CURRENTLY BOOKED OUT, JUST SEND IN YOUR EMAIL AND NAME TO BE ADDED TO THE WAITING LIST!
How to get there and back, visas, money changing…
Island is Koh Chang, Ranong (small Koh Chang, not big Koh Chang – there are 2 islands with the same name in the country)
Arriving at Bangkok airport:
At arrival, just change the minimum you need to get to the center at the airport. If you have time find the 1st floor superrich money changer in Suvratani airport, (better change than the super rich upstairs and than any other branch there).
Then you can get a bus to the center (Check Google maps) or a taxi (to get to your hotel in the center you’ll likely pay about 400 bhat. If you want to save money, ask someone that is on the flight with you if they want to share the taxi)
You have to go to the official taxi spot, just ask someone to point you the way or follow the signs.
Staying in Bangkok:
Tourists usually stay near Khaosan road. It’s a busy party street with all sorts of things happening. You can find plenty of guest houses around there. It’s noisy, so better find a place that is not too close to the main road, one option is Shanti Lodge. Close enough to lively streets, nice ambience, I have friends that stay there.
I staid in a hotel near the famous weekend market Chatu Chat, called “Nice Palace hotel”. It’s a cheaper option, simple place. It’s connected via public transport (for 30 bhat) to Moun Airport (if you are getting a flight to Ranong you’d get it from there) and is also close enough to the train station (Bang Sue Railway Station). It’s 600 bhat per night, and you can check-in at 8am, which is unusual, so you don’t have to wait around with your bags if the flight comes in early in the day. It’s clean, you have your private bathroom and a small simple terrace. Much nicer option: ask to be put in a room at the top floors. (the ones that have a mini balcony)
Changing money in Bangkok:
Bring clean cash, no pen marks, no rips. Changing money seems to be the best value, over ATM. Best money changer in Thailand: “Super rich” check on Google maps to find the one near you.
Always bring your passport to the money changer shop. Make sure to take enough to pay the bungalow costs, food, contribution you haven’t sent, because there is no ATM on the island!
ATMs take a high commission fee in Thailand, one of the highest in the world. (still, it’s alright)
Remember to have 10USD note for the Burma run if you’ll have to renew your visa while in Thailand! it has to be totally clean, no penmarks no rips.
By plane from Bangkok to Ranong:
Two companies fly from Bangkok to Ranong: Nokair – not every day, Airasia – daily. They fly from Don Mueang Airport, so if you plan connection flights in Bangkok, leave at least 4 hours between the flights (international flights are at Suvarnabhumi Airport).
Another option is to fly to Phuket and then move to Ranong by bus. Read below for more info on that.
By bus from Bangkok/Pukhet to Ranong
There are several buses a day from the Southern Bus Station in Bangkok (Sai Tai Mai), most of them depart at 8-10 in the evening. First Calss is ~500 baht, VIP ~700 baht.
2nd Class, is only a little cheaper and a lot less comfortable and takes longer time to get there. From Ranong to Bangkok there are also several buses a day (both day and night). The ride is 9-10 hours.
Timetable of some buses.
If you move to Ranong from Phuket it will take 5-6 hours. Buses schedule and telephone numbers of Bus Terminals. Schedule can change, so double check closer to the date.
If you prefer to book everything in advance, you may use 12go.asia – website with small comission for booking of tickets.
Near the bus station there is an affordable guest house Kiwi Orchid – convenient place for one night. (they also organise visa runs to the Burmese border)
By train from Bangkok to Ranong
By bus and flight is much better than by train. The closest station to Ranong is Chumpon. There is a daily train #85 from Bangkok to Chumpon at 19:30. There is a bus from Chumpon to Ranong, 2 hour ride.
From Ranong Airport to Ranong pier, and viceversa:
The easiest option (200bhat) get a minibus from the pier to airport/airport to pier.
The Airport in Ranong is 23 km from the city. So you can go straight to the pier by taxi, or bus as mentioned above.
The cheapest option (not that much cheaper): take a songteo (songteo is an open pickup, you stop it directly on the road, go to the city, and change to the other one that goes to the pier, 15 minutes from the city center).
If you arrive in the evening, you can stay in Ranong for the night and go to the island in the morning.
From Ranong Pier to Koh Chang
There are long-tail boats and faster boats. The ticket for the long tail is 200 baht, it goes at 9:30 and 14:00 to Koh Chang pier, while the faster ones are more often. will send you a picture of the schedule on our telegram group.
(The main Ranong pier is walking distance from the Koh Chang smaller pier, if you have heavy bags you can take a taxi for max 100 bhat.)
Long tails don’t stop near every guesthouse as you may see online. Since covid, it just usually goes to the main pier.
Once you are there there will be people with scooters that can bring you to our spot.
Last I checked Europeans get 30 days at arrival but check closer to the date as things are changing. Asia rules – always changing. (Last year was 45 days)
There is a way to get 60 days I hear, through visa application from your country HERE.
If you don’t do that, then we’d have to make a visa run day trip to Burma, details are below.
If your visa expires while you are in Thailand:
You can do a visa run to Burma, and if all goes smoothly you’ll be able to come back to the island within the same day. (Again, check closer to the date as Burma/Myanmar’s rules change due to their difficult current political situation)
(You will need a perfectly clean 10USD dollar note to give to the Burmese border, no pen marks, no rips)
They also asked me for 100bhat extra, but that is not normally happening. Bring some extra bhats just in case, also to buy stuff in the market once you are there if you like.
When doing a visa run in Burma, they will give you only 30 days stamp.
We paid 500bhat for the boat to go and come back, we were 2 people, so 250 each. They will wait for you if you want to go for a walk in the town, visit the market, buy some stuff (stuff is cheaper there, you can pay in Thai bhat too). The boat people will approach you as you go to the immigration window.
Renewing it in immigration in Ranong city is also a possibility, but more expensive.
Less is more
Sessions are for all levels, and we will be focusing mostly on foundations. I have found that working with foundations is actually a very advanced practice.
Foundations are what hold up everything, it's where we can work with the core causes of our current condition.
Learning how to listen
We'll be consistently coming back to the quality of one's attention. While applying that work on the forms, body openings, etc.
Through the practice, we will accompany ourselves into a quieter more aware space, learning how to pay attention, how to feel ourselves, and gradually learning how to stay open and present in and with what arises. To ourselves, our hearts, the other, and life around us.
About the Taiji Tao System
The Taichi Tao approach comes from the mountain monks (Shan Ren) and is often nicknamed “Temple Style Taiji”.
It was brought to the West by Master Waysun Liao, who founded the Taichi Tao Center in Chicago, in 1971.
The Taichi path is a path of going back to the origin, of investigation into the Self, reconnection to one's deeper nature.
Master Waysun Liao studied from an old wandering Taoist monk in a Tao Temple in his native Taiwan, since he was a child. So the approach is "based in meditation".
Amongst other things, he mostly teaches using Single Form style, or “Dan Tsou” style practice, which breaks down each movement of the long form into smaller motions that we can practice repetitively in a cyclic manner. Allowing us to focus on Qi Awareness, Qi Flow, and work on the internal dimensions in an in-depth manner.
Sarah Tulivu / Fong Yi will be leading the sessions. She has been training in Taiji & Qigong and sitting meditation on a daily basis for about 13 years. During that time about 6 years were passed in a Tao Temple and monastery, where she trained as a monk.
She was then advised by her teacher, Master Waysun Liao and Master Chang to leave the Tao Temple and carry the practice into life in the world – as her Temple, sharing the practice with those interested who cross her path.
Rónan McLoughlin (Hao Tong), will be replying to emails and will be there for organization details, communications about practicalities, and so on.
Ronan is originally from Ireland, he is a movement artist and fire performer, and began his journey into Taiji 10 years ago, also studying in the tradition of Master Waysun Liao.
“In my experience of Taiji, we explore the most basic foundations of ourselves, not through concepts but through our direct experience.
We learn how to engage with that base structure from which we experience and through which we live.
By making adjustments to the foundations we find that things naturally change. We don’t have to force change but we put certain causes into effect and we find that our experience naturally changes.
So rather than getting lost in inner conflict and resistance to how things are, we go towards the root and we “tweak” the underlying structure. These changes ripple through our system and we find that our experience of life is different.”